tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 13, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
districts that are even more competitive, a lot more competitive, than the one that we have seen tonight. that is why, despite -- regardless of the outcome, republicans at the end of tonight are going to be incredibly nervous across the country. >> our coverage is going to continue with don lemon and "cnn tonight" in new york. all right, thank you very much, jake and dana, appreciate that. much more on election night coverage on cnn. the breaking news, a nail-biter night of high drama in pennsylvania playing out right now. it's not over yet. now it's all going to come down to the absentee ballots which are being counted and reported and we'ring going to do it live on cnn, counted and reported now. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. this election was not even supposed to be close. it should have been a slam dunk for republicans. instead tonight, if you care about politics in this country, you are hanging on this race because of what it could mean for the fall midterms.
what will play out in the midterms. pennsylvania's 18th district went for trump by 20 points. do you believe it's this close, 20 points. tonight's race between democrat conor lamb and republican rick saccone is about as close as can be. john king posted at the magic wall all evening, he has the information for us, gary tuchman at the county election head years in allegheny county. good evening or good morning depending where you are in the country. john, incredibly tight race, too close to call. break down the numbers for us. >> incredibly tight. let's go through where we are. by our count as we speak, 579 vote lead for the democrat conor lamb. nail biter to say the least. 49.8, 49.6. what's outstanding? i'm told we believe that these are the final numbers in westmoreland county, including absentee ballots. we'll double-check that but that's what we're told. if that's the case, in westmoreland county, then we go
to washington county, a republican county that rick saccone won with 53% of the vote, outstanding there, 1195 absentee ballots here. 203 absentee ballots here. the question is, can rick saccone -- bringing that back up full size -- can saccone win those absentee ballots by enough of a margin to overcome that? it would take a mathematical miracle, 60%, even greater than that, i believe. democrats are confident conor lamb can hold on. donald trump won this district 16 months ago by 20 points. the democrat is at least even ahead by 579 votes. republicans say, count all these, then double-check and triple check the math, but as of now, because of this, because of the big advantage in this slice, not all of allegheny county, just the southern part of the county is in the district. conor lamb ran 57% here. you see the margins. the 15,000-vote margin plus in
allegheny county at the moment giving conor lamb a very narrow lead. 579 votes. absentees to be counted here and here. the saccone campaign says, we're still in this, we'll continue to fight. the democrats think when they finish this count that might shrink but they're going to pull off what would be the first big stunning upset, psychologically a momentum builder of 2018. but let's wait for the final math, could be the morning. >> rick saccone came out moments ago and said, it's not over yet. are there enough outstanding ballots that he could win at this point, that he could pull off a victory? >> the answer is yes, but the question is the math. again, he's going to have to win a giant percentage. i haven't done the final math because we're triple checking. when westmoreland's absentee ballots were out he had to win 63%. if he shrunk the lead a little bit, down to these counties left, again, at least 60%, probably higher than that number. he only won 53% today in the live vote.
can he so overperform among absentees? it's possible, generally it doesn't happen. can he get a significantly higher percentage than he did in the live ballot? it's mathematically possible, people who track elections say these things tend to run about the same, give or take a few points, 5 or 10 points. that's unlikely. but on the margins, 579, if you're the candidate on the low end right now, you're going to wait till they count every last one. then you're going to send your lawyers back and your team back to triple and quadruple check. >> john king, you're the best, thank you so much. been a long night, it's going to be a long day tomorrow as well. let's bring in cnn's senior political analyst, mr. mark preston, bakari sellers, amanda carpenter, and scott jennings. mark, what happens now? >> the question is -- >> it's about the mass, so can conor lamb go to bed the winner and make wake up a loser? >> yeah, no question about it. we have to see what the count
is. figure out what the percentage is that's going to come out of it. right now it looks like he's probably going to win but who knows. we thought donald trump wouldn't be in the white house, and guess what, donald trump is in the white house today. what i think is interesting, and what i think is more important, is how this is going to be spun tomorrow by the democrats and the republicans. now when you go back to the beginning, republicans as you said, this should have been an easy win for them. but the tide turned and everyone was looking at this race and thought the democrats would have an easy win because they had such a great candidate. it really is a great candidate. .republicans didn't have a great candidate. i think if republicans lose, that i don't think it's a 10-alarm fire for the republican party. i think they're going to look at this and say, okay, we need to make sure that our candidates are better prepared and that they know how to deliver the message, and in places where trump is wanted and needed -- >> it as multi-alarm fire, though. >> not 10.
>> it as multi alarm. >> absolutely. we knew going in tonight that republicans had their backs against the wall and there's a good chance they're going to lose the house of representatives. but i don't think things have changed from last night to tonight. >> there's one thing i question, walking into this race, even though trump went all-in, did the rally, republican committee spent a ton of money, all these republicans are throwing this guy under the bus going into the race. clearly their projections were off. i wonder if he does lose this race, were these republicans trashing his prospects in the run-up to the vote? that could be the difference. >> yeah, but he's got to win 70% of the 1,400 outstanding votes. >> unlikely. mathematically possible but unlikely. i think about this race in the context of the great winston churchill movie that just came out. i think about churchill saying at one point in the movie, when will the lesson be learned? in this case, candidate quality matters. at the local level, three people looking at this race, the district committee that chose the candidate chose the one, the
third guy that everybody wanted. there were two other candidates, both of whom probably win tonight, that's number one. number two, democrats did something here that was smart, they didn't go with the ultra-liberal candidate. they went with a republican lite moderate who watched the district, who ran away from nancy pelosi, who had to sound not like anything you hear out of the democrats in washington to win. lessons here, if you have a suburb in your district, watch out, there's no way to put mayonnaise on that crap sandw h sandwich. candidate quality matters. >> he's not wrong. politically, there was not much difference between them. there is not much difference between saccone and lamb -- >> i appreciate all three of my colleagues tonight for just painting this picture that is as rosy as possible for the republican party. the fact is it's amazing how saccone all of a sudden isn't a great candidate. relatively speaking he may not be a great candidate compared to
others, but compared to todd akin, compared to a roy moore? he is a legitimate candidate. he actually served in our armed forces. he actually was an elected official prior to this. it's not as if he ran against -- >> it doesn't make you a good candidate. >> congratulations on the bar. >> regardless, it may not be a 10-alarm fire, i hope republicans walk out with some level of confidence. there are 119 districts. 119 districts that are held by republicans today that are closer than the 20-point margin by which donald trump won this district. 119. that means all 119 need to understand that tomorrow, somebody can file against them and they can be beaten. democrats do have to learn a message from this race, and that is my fear. that's always my fear with democrats. we've screwed the proverbial pooch. what we have to realize is a few things. we can't forget the lessons of alabama, african-american women, we have to give them a reason to
come vote. and, we're not a party of or, and, we have to focus on working-class voters if conor
lamb is showing us today. one of the best footnotes about this race, i'm not sure i've heard it mentioned on cnn, is that there are only six millennials elected to the united states congress. only six. and conor lamb will add to that number or be number six. >> are you trying to make this point, when he said he ran away from nancy pelosi, he's not running as a traditional democrat -- >> that's fine. >> all the people in washington -- >> i have beat this drum, this proverbial drum, for the last year. the fact is the democratic party and our leadership and our proverbial leadership, they're all old. i don't make any bones about that. look, you want to talk about hillary clinton, you want to taub joe biden, elizabeth warren, the list goes on and on and on, chuck schumer. the party leadership has to get younger. we have to become more versatile. we have to have a message that resonates across all boards. conor lamb, we have to be a
party of bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, conor lamb, and joe man shin. i want everybody under the tent. >>
let me take that up. i think that's incredibly important, not only to the democrat party but the republican party, what we've seen, regardless who wins, that is you can't go into a district and just because somebody is backed by the progressive wing of their party, if you're a democrat, think that they're going to win that seat. you have to pick people who are going to fit the mold of the district. you know what, if the democratic party is going to be the big tent party like the republican party talks about all the time, they're going to have to accept the likes of conor lamb into their party. >> mark last night said that this proves all politics is local and it's national. i don't agree with that, sorry, mark. i think all politics is local and this shows you it's local. you have to put a candidate in that fits the place you're running. look, you can't -- scott, he won, donald trump won this district by 20 points.
even if conor lamb loses, i still think it's a win for democrats, at least with momentum. republicans should be concerned about that. >> the narrative out of tonight, saccone would have had to won by 6 or 7 points plus for the narrative to shift toward the republicans. narrowing a district like this is a terrible narrative for the republican party. and there's no question about it. there's no way to run away from it. but right now is the wakeup call for every republican. as bakari said, there's a lot of republicans in districts that look a lot like this, some subu suburbs, some rural, maybe they haven't had a tough race. a lot of republican house members got elected in 2010, maybe they've not faced a tough re-electi re-election, you're going to have one this year. wakeup call, do not take your race for granted, because the environment won't allow it. >> you cannot -- look, one of the things that's amazing about being the party in control is we see dips. you can always go to the bully pulpit, which is 1600 pennsylvania. what we've seen is that you had
donald trump fly in. you had ivanka trump fly in. you had mike pence fly in. you even had don jr. campaign there, smashing a bowl of ice cream in a hair net. >> chocolate bunnies. >> i think one of the messages that comes away from this, we talked about it off set, is there is a level of toxicity with this white house. there's a level of toxicity amongst suburban white voters. >> absolutely. and this as big question. 20 points for donald trump. when donald trump devotes so many resources to it, if the race is still close, republicans across the board have to ask themselves going into 2018 and 2020, how close will you get to trump? trump probably needs to win this district more than the republican candidate does. so that he can be welcomed when he wants to go campaign himself in these republican areas. >> let me ask you this. what happens tomorrow when house republicans go to work? and they're up for re-election in eight months.
do they say, huh, maybe it's time to retire? >> yes, this is so close i think you'll see retirements either way. >> more? >> right now 38, even distinguished members like trey gowdy who had a prominent position, a lot of republicans in the leadership positions do need to work closely with the white house. those are the ones who are leaving. so, you know. >> what do you think? >> yeah, i mean, i think that if you're, you know, getting at the end of your career, you don't want to deal with it, fool with a rough environment, you're going to see retirements. trump aside, history is already moving against the republicans. i think it's been two midterms since the civil war when the party in power didn't lose seats. so the republicans go into this historically in a generic environment, historically speaking, they should lose. the question is can the democrats turn that into something more than it should otherwise be? and that's the questions we're seeing answered by races like this, that the democrats want to try to make it bigger than maybe it ought to be. >> stick around, when we come back, much more on this
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coors banquet. that's how it's done. here's our breaking news, all eyes on pennsylvania's special congressional race where it's all coming down to the absentee ballots. cnn's john king at the magic wall. there are just under 1,400 absentee ballots outstanding in these counties. how likely is it that saccone will get enough votes to make up the difference? >> mathematically possible but
unlikely. let's do the math. start with where we are. 579-vote lead at the moment for conor lamb, you see it there. a little old school here, from the best of our information, 1398 absentee ballots still to be counted. most of them from washington county. 200 from green county. the count is ongoing till the morning. washington county, saccone got 53% of the vote. green county, saccone got 58% if you round it up. he should be optimistic. these are places he ran strong. almost 1,400 ballots left. 579-vote lead. here's the problem. if rick saccone got 70%, way overperformed, if he got 70% of those ballots and absentee ballots, he'd come up with in the ballpark of 979. at 70%. conor lamb would get 419.
at 70% and 30%. what's the difference? that would mean a net gain at 70% of the absentee ballots left, a net gain for rick saccone of 560. which would leave him 19 votes short. >> wow. >> if he got 70%. again, that would be overperforming and overperforming. mathematically possible, yes. would that count have to defy everything that's happened at the ballot box today by a significant margin? yes. mathematically possible at 70%, though, even if rick saccone wins, 7 of 10 of those remaining absentee ballots, he will fall short. your expectation is he will make up the lead, can he get that, i wouldn't bet on it. >> john king, thank you very much. i want to go to jason carroll at conor lamb headquarters. what's happening? are we expecting him to speak any time soon? >> we've just gotten word from a campaign source that conor lamb is expected to head out in just a few minutes.
in fact, just a few minutes ago, we saw in the corner, we saw conor lamb's brother peek his head out just for a short moment before he headed back in. conor lamb is expected to address the crowd in a few minutes from now. just a short while ago, senior campaign adviser rich fitzgerald took to the stage and thanked all those who came out to support the campaign. he talked about the grassroots nature of the campaign. and i can tell you, don, as i hear chants throughout the room of "conor," all throughout this night, even in the very beginning when the numbers were far more favorable to conor lamb, there's a sense of optimism among many people here throughout the night. even as the numbers became tighter and tighter and tighter. it's become a real nail biter behind the scenes. there's still this feeling of confidence, a feeling that the work they've done to reach out to the union members throughout the district has really paid off. so once again, just a few
moments from now, expecting conor lamb to take the stage, just a short while ago his campaign adviser came out and told the crowd to hang on. they know they've been waiting for a very, very long time. but told the crowd to hang on, that conor lamb is on his way. >> jason carroll, we're glad they're watching. they're on delay, when they see themselves, they start screaming. they're ready. thank you very much. now cnn chief political correspondent dana bash and commentator david axelrod. good morning to both of you. i mean, this is a nail biter. this is a major test for this president going into the midterms. what's your takeaway here? >> yeah, i mean -- it's a test not so much for the president, but it is a test on both sides. number one for democrats, whether they can harness the resistance, the energy that is very real and very fervent across the country.
and at least now the answer -- no matter how this turns out, the answer is yes. because this is a district that donald trump won by 20 points. it's a district that has not gone into the "d," the dem column, since 2002. regardless how this turns out, it is a yes. republicans i talked to say, again, regardless of how this turns out, they're hoping it is a wakeup call to their party, to their candidates, to get focused and to get with it. the issue, though, don, or maybe the question, is whether the wakeup call for some of those republican candidates is going to be i'm out of here, that they're going to decide they're going to retire rather than run in a district many of which have a margin that is much more favorable to them, but if they're looking at what's going on now, if conor lamb can win or a republican can't win, or at least comes close in a district
like pennsylvania 18, then they're in big trouble. >> to get focused, to get with it, if you agree with dana's analysis, on what? >> well, look. i agree with dana's analysis, but i also know having been on the wrong side of a wave once that there's only so much you can do. if there is a national dynamic, and there seems to be -- remember, this race has to be put in the context of every election that's taken place since donald trump became president and what we've seen is a consistent pattern of democrats outperforming what should be their partisan performance in districts. you've seen 37 state legislative seats that have flipped from republican to democrat. and even in seats where republicans won, they didn't win by the margins that the president won by and that a typical republican could win by. so there's something going on out there that is bigger than just this race. and that's what would concern me if i were republicans.
also this suburban deal is real. you look at allegheny county or the suburban portion of allegheny county and this district. donald trump carried it by 4 points against hillary clinton. conor lamb won in a landslide tonight with 57% of the vote. a lot of these suburban areas are going to be battlegrounds in this upcoming election. so there are a lot of things that i think would trouble me if i were a republican thinking about the fall tonight. >> david, dana, stick around, much more when we come back on the nail biter congressional race in pennsylvania. this could come down to the absentee ballots. it will. so lionel, what does being able to trade 24/5 mean to you? well, it means i can trade after the market closes. it's true. so all... evening long. ooh, so close. ♪
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with all the resources that were poured into this, what is there to be pleased about? why are they happy about this? >> i don't think they're happy about it. i think that they're trying to make the most of a bad situation. they take some solace in the fact that there were some polls that showed a wider margin than we saw tonight for lamb and the president came there, they'll claim credit for that, and there probably was a little bit of enthusiasm generated by the president's visit. i don't know that when you net it out what the president being in the white house means for republicans versus his ability to get a few points for candidates. i'm not sure the tradeoff is good for republicans. look, the interesting thing that happened in this race is conor lamb rooted himself in the district, reflected the district very, very well, and the republicans tried to nationalize this race. and they spent $10 million hitting lamb with negative ads, trying to tie him to nancy
pelosi, trying to tie him to higher taxes, trying to tie him to weak on crime. all of these familiar themes. it didn't work. all that money and all those attacks didn't work. and that's something that they're going to have to contemplate. democrats, on the other hand, ought to take lessons from this because lamb did reflect his district, and he was allowed by the party to do that. and i think that is in a big, diverse country, you have to do that to be a winning party. hopefully they'll derive some lessons from that. >> yeah, i totally agree with david. and tom perez, the democratic party chairman, was on with us earlier this evening or maybe last evening, depending how we calculate the time right now. and he was very open about the notion of conor lamb looking to camera as he did in the ad that he put out saying that he is not going to support nancy pelosi.
he said every candidate on our side is going to have to run the kind of race that they feel that they need to. and plus 20 districts, plus trump -- for trump, that is the kind of race the democrat there felt he had to run. >> dana, let me ask you this. having said what you said about conor lamb looking to camera, saying i'm not going to support nancy pelosi. and david just said, well, maybe donald trump did drum up some enthusiasm. but how can you say that it actually helped this candidate when donald trump won by 20 points, and yet and still we're at this -- maybe he actually hurt him by going there, maybe he didn't need to go there? >> well, look. we're going to have to really dissect these numbers once we get a better sense of what they are. but i think just the fact that we are waiting for the absentee ballots, which by the way david chalian reminded me had to be in
by friday, and friday was just as the president was signing his tariffs policy which he was hoping was going to help with these exact kind of voters, union voters and so forth. and it was before the president actually went to the district to campaign there. the fact that we're waiting for these absentee ballots means that this sort of live vote that happened today was tighter than both sides expected. that is why republicans feel, particularly trump republicans i've talked to, and i'm sure you have as well heard from them, saying that they believe the president's visit helped. but at the end of the day, the president helping a candidate to maybe, maybe get over a finish line where he, the president, won by 20 points and it hasn't been in democratic hands for 14 years, isn't a whole lot to crow about. that's why, candidly, most republicans are saying, no
matter what happens at the end of the day, whether it goes to the democratic side or not, it is a canary in the coal mine for republicans. >> so dana, there are many who say don't overthink this, don't overplay this as it relates to the midterms. do you think this is a sign of things to come? >> yeah, i really do. i think it is true that one should not -- every race has its own characteristics. and one shouldn't overplay any race. when you put it in the context of what we've seen over the past year and all the elections that have been held, there is a consistent pattern. and i remember in 2010 when scott brown won the senate seat that ted kennedy had held after kennedy had died, and we tried to spin it as our candidate wasn't particularly good, this was a special circumstance. but we knew that it meant something. and this means something as well. >> yeah, all right. thank you very much.
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breaking news, democrat conor lamb with a slim lead in pennsylvania special congressional race in a district president trump won by about 20 points in 2016. i want to bring in cnn sli contributor selena zito. you live in pennsylvania 18, selena, good morning, this is your backyard. give us what you think -- your perspective of what happened on the ground tonight in this race. >> i think what's sort of some of the bigger lessons about this race are that the democrats have found a way to have a successful campaign with a moderate democrat who is able to have a good -- able to talk about economic populism and avoid talking about trump in a
negative way. it worked very well in this district. it can be a model for other districts with similar sort of swing electorate. i think the republican lesson that is they need a better message. they need one that's more aspirational, that reminds voters that they have their backs, and talks about the things that they accomplished. there was none of that. i live in the district, i saw the ads. they were all very dark and negative. they didn't tell a story about what they've accomplished. i don't think that the republican party gets who they are yet. i don't think they understand that they have a more populist coalition. >> you say the deciding swing voter and swing vote in this race is a union voter. explain that to us. >> yeah. so in -- the union vote in this district is very high. union family vote, it's a collective vote. people all vote the same way in their families in their communities. and they are very -- still very
strong for donald trump. but their problem, unique to this district, is that the republican candidate, rick saccone, is a right to work -- that's where he falls in his policies. and unions view that as not having their backs. so you see the voters swinging away from saccone and republicans, and towards lamb. it's a very local race. you know, despite the national attention, the candidates have kept it localized. and that's sort of hurt saccone because he's not on the same page as trump is when it comes to the union issue. >> the people you talked to who backed the democrat, conor lamb, also voted for president trump in 2016. are they still behind president trump? >> yeah, absolutely. they just look at this as continuing the sort of populist
trend of going with the person that they feel is more aspirational and has their back more than someone who is out of touch with their needs and concerns. >> selene na, you had a read on this race, we appreciate your perspective, thank you very much. we're waiting for more votes to be counted and reported tonight. still about 1,400 outstanding votes left in washington and green counties. and as we have been told here, we're going to get the results from washington county at some point tonight. let's get back with the panel for discussion. mark preston, bakari sellers, amanda carpenter, scott jennings. the swing voters, the union vote she said there. >> yeah, so look, if union voters are predominantly, primarily in the democratic constituency, however, in some places like pennsylvania, we have seen them peel off. we have to go back to 2008. remember, this was the place that barack obama described that
people were clinging to their guns and religion back in 2008. that still sits in the pit of many people's stomachs. they don't look at the democratic party necessarily as supporting them. in this case, i do think that's really interesting about the right to work aspect. >> conor lamb coming to the podium down in pennsylvania now. there you see him there. people are cheering. he's in canonsburg. rick saccone already came out and said there's a long way to go, still hopeful. conor lamb with a slim lead in this special election here in pennsylvania's 18th. we're awaiting word to see what he has to say, if he's going to declare himself a winner, but we should feel good about what he's accomplished in the district that the current president, a republican, won by 20 points. and here he is with a slim lead in a race that he could very well win by morning once the election officials there clarify
and declare the winner. let's listen to conor lamb. [ audience chanting "conor lamb" ] >> it took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. you did it. you did it. you did it. i see so many great friends out here. you know, four months ago, right after we won the democratic nomination, before we ever even had a chance to open an office, the grassroots leaders that are
in this room tonight came to us and they said, print us something. print anything. so we can get out there and start canvassing. they said, get going, they said, or we're going without you. well, we went together. and i can't thank you enough. we followed what i learned in the marines. leave no one behind. we went everywhere. we talked to everyone. we invited everyone in. and we found that there is public support for programs like
social security and medicare that's nearly universal. because these programs are universal. they are america's way of saying, we are all in this together. our issue in this campaign is common ground. we fought to find common ground and we found it. almost everywhere. democrats, republicans, independents. each of us, americans. i've heard it over and over. >> go, conor! >> i've heard it over and over,
conor. i've heard it, conor. the job you're running for is the house of representatives. if you get down there, do the job. do the job. okay, i will. mission accepted. people are so tired of the shouting on tv and in our politics. >> come together! >> it's amazing what happens when you're in a room with real people who have real aspirations and real troubles. there's lots of ideas. there's no angry shouting. our job in congress is to attack the problems, not each other.
almost all of them small. every one of them in the open. just like our campaign. we were able to campaign the way american democracy is supposed to be. it's supposed to be for you, not just on tv, but in your town halls, at legion posts, in small auditoriums, on your streets, at your door. and side by side with us at each step of the way were the men and women of organized labor.
organized labor built western pennsylvania. let me tell you something. tonight, they have reasserted their right to have a major part in our future. these unions have fought for decades for wages, benefits, working conditions. basic dignity and social justice. thank you. thank you. you have brought me into your ranks to fight with you. let me tell you something else. i am proud to be right there with you. thank you. let me finish with this. i'm a pennsylvania democrat.
a proud western pennsylvania democrat. this is the party of my grandfather. he believed in he believed in fdr who taught us all. he taught us all that people have a right to know that their government walks on their side of the street. what that means is i'll work on the problems our people face, secure their jobs and pensions, protect their family, and i will work with anyone to do that. we're practical people. we're serious people. and tonight we celebrate
regaining our voice and our vote in the great business of governing this country we love. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> oh, here we go. that's conor lamb there giving a victory speech. and i said is he going to declare victory or is he going to wait for election officials? what did you think, amanda? >> a bold hoff. just go out, get ahead of everyone else. yeah. if you're a republican looking at, this bakari's going to blow his mind right now, you know, donald trump can't save you. even in a plus 20 district donald trump can't save you. and so congressman-elect lamb, i guess. >> before we got to him they announced him as congressman-elect lamb. >> can i just say -- >> just go. >> let me bask in this glory.
>> let us say this. cnn is not calling the race. we're absolutely not calling the race. we're going to wait to see what happens in the morning. >> what whenever election officials call it. >> or whenever election officials call it. but what we're seeing is a play pi conor lamb and the national democratic party to go in and say we won, let's end it right now and let's just try to defeat any effort to try to contest this. >> stabbed >> stand by, democrat. we'll be right back.
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nourish your eyes to help them be their healthy best. ocuvite eye vitamins. be good to your eyes. the race is too close to call until all the votes are counted. we expect to get results from washington county's absentee blalts sometime tonight. let's bring in cnn political commentators van jones and steve cortez. it has not been officially called. cnn has not declared it. but conor lamb, van, saying hey, listen, i won. where does the momentum stand at this point in the mid-terms? >> well, look, he's smart to go ahead and try to stake that claim and get that psychological
victory while everybody's watching, the whole world is watching. but you know, we're going to wait to call it. i will say this, though. the republican party, the people who have been trying to figure out every way in the world to defend donald trump and to pretend that he's doing a great job, that umballing sound you hear is not a train passing by. it is not a jet overhead. it is not a thunderstorm on the horizon. that is the anti-trump resistance coming down out of the mountains. any voting booth it can find it grabs, it shakes upside down, it turns it around. because people are tired. yes, there's a big part of this that was local. but there's an energy here. you had so many women on the ground who have never been involved before who got involved. you have the labor movement feeling its back is against the wall. they've got a big supreme court case coming down. they're trying to assert themselves. all the backdrop that trump has created by basically in some
ways embarrassing some republicans and outraging a lot of democrats gives a lift to all the local effort, and it is just getting started. >> here in new york it could be the d train, which goes right by the building. >> that's not what it is. >> i was giving you the democrat, d train. come on, van, get with it. >> okay. >> listen, steve, how is this result, how is this not a disaster for the gop? >> oh, well, look, i don't think it's a disaster. it's a bad night. i'll be honest. do i think it's a bad night for the gop. but think it's also a good night for conor lamb and because of the kind of race he ran and the kind of candidate he is. he mentioned something about the democratic party of his grandparents. i thought that was very telling because it reminded me a lot of my maternal grandmother, irish catholic democrat who worshiped fdr and jfk. the party of her day has largely disappeared today. now, conor lamb seems to want to resurrect that very smartly so. i think he's the kind of
candidate that she could vote for. somebody who's moderate. but here's the problem the democrats are going to face. they don't have very many conor lambs and they have a whole lot of nancy pelosis and elizabeth warrens. they have a lot of old tired hard left social justice warrior types. so i think it's going to be hard to replicate the success that they see in pennsylvania 18 in other races. >> he did say i'm a western pennsylvania dnl, and he says i'm also, you know, unions built western pennsylvania. point taken. listen, gentlemen, thank you very much. i want you to stick around for me. when he with come back much more on the special congressional race in pennsylvania. democrat conor lamb declaring victory but until every vote is counted this race is too close to call.
this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. 1:00 a.m. on the east coast. breaking news. conor lamb declaring victory in the special congressional race in pennsylvania but this race is really just too close to call until every single vote is counted. we expect to get results from washington county's absentee ballots sometime tonight. so continue to follow. it is a nail-biter. i want to get right to cnn's jason carroll. he's at lamb headquarters. and back with me van jones and steve cortez. okay. so jason, you first. talk to me about